Community Stories

June 14, 2017
Gratitude is a wonderful word. It also can be a challenging practice, particularly when life presents challenges. It did not always come naturally for me. I was raised to say “thank you” and I learned that lesson well, yet my delivery was often perfunctory and distant, consistent with a comfortably numb life.
June 12, 2017
"For all of his many contributions to human health throughout the past 70 years, I cannot think of a more worthy person for the Center to be named in honor of than Earl Bakken. He is a man of paradox: an engineer who envisions a world of high-touch integrated healing, a leader who inspires others, but lets them go their own way, an introvert who will happily stand on a convention floor for 12 hours at a time, talking to other dreamers and prospective adopters of his ideas." - Bill George, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Medtronic
December 29, 2016
Kristin Neff, PhD, one of the world’s leading experts in the field of self-compassion, visited the Center for Spirituality & Healing as a Wellbeing Lecture Series speaker in 2014. Her innovative work — encompassing more than a decade’s worth of research and measurement — aligned closely with the Center’s focus on wellbeing, and also with its flourishing mindfulness program.
December 12, 2016
During her years as a hospitalist, Kate (Venable) Shafto, M.D., noticed her health waning. It was never anything drastic, but the signs were there. So, she adjusted her lifestyle and implemented changes like clean eating and practicing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Spirituality & Healing. Soon, she noticed that those choices melded into her care and teaching, too.
August 30, 2016
Could facing our mortality inspire us to live our lives more fully? Cultural anthropologist Dr. Marilyn Schlitz explores the mysteries of life and death from a variety of perspectives and world traditions.
October 2, 2015
For more than a decade, the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing has offered mindfulness programs to the campus and Twin Cities communities. From an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, to other opportunities like Mindfulness at Work, Mindfulness in Motion, and Mindful Eating, the Center has provided learning opportunities to thousands of people. At the heart of this program are our mindfulness teachers, who are all certified – or currently in training – at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the nation’s most established and rigorous training institute. Learn more about our instructors in the following stories.
September 21, 2015
In his 40-plus year career, Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, has become a pioneer for mindfulness-based practices nationwide and abroad. Since founding the renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts in 1979, Kabat-Zinn has traveled throughout the world, giving lectures and generously sharing his expertise as others cultivate the practice of mindfulness in health care settings, schools and communities. He has written a dozen books on the topic—and countless articles. So when he shared a particularly candid reflection with Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, and her team shortly after she founded the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing, she was not quick to forget it.
May 8, 2015
A new initiative aims to regain the language and skills needed to empower, nurture, and care for people at the end of life.
May 15, 2014
"Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life." - John Gardner